Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > DVD Discussions > DVD Reviews and Recommendations
Reload this Page >

Horror Film Club (April 5th) - The House of the Devil

DVD Reviews and Recommendations Read, Post and Request DVD Reviews.

Horror Film Club (April 5th) - The House of the Devil

Old 04-06-10, 09:39 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
Chad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Somewhere Hot Scoville Units: 9,999,999 Zodiac Sign: Capricorn
Posts: 12,259
Received 811 Likes on 316 Posts
Horror Film Club (April 5th) - The House of the Devil



The House of the Devil (2009)



IMDB | Trailer | Review

Selected by gglass4269.

SYNOPSIS:
Spoiler:
From writer/director/editor Ti West comes perhaps the most intense shocker of the year:
Desperate for quick cash, college sophomore Samantha Hughes (a breakout performance by Jocelin Donahue) takes a babysitting job in the isolated mansion of the creepy Ulman family.
Ignoring the warnings from her Best Friend (GREENBERG'S Greta Gerwig), Samantha has no idea that a nightmare of unspeakable fear and torment awaits her within these walls.
At midnight, in the shadow of a full lunar eclipse, the ultimate evil will be unleashed.
Cult icons Tom Noonan (MANHUNTER), Mary Woronov (THE DEVIL'S REJECTS) and Dee Wallace (THE HILLS HAVE EYES) - co-star in the acclaimed demonic thriller that fans and critics hail as an unnerving return to late '70s/early 80s classic horror.


FUN FACTS: Promotionally released on VHS in a clamshell box. The last major motion picture released in that format was A History of Violence (2005).

Spoiler tags are unnecessary in these discussion threads, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF SPOILERS.

Horror Film Club Home



Last edited by Chad; 05-02-10 at 05:10 PM.
Old 04-06-10, 09:50 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
LickTheABCs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Viva BuyMoria!
Posts: 3,464
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Horror Film Club (April 5th) - The House of the Devil

Great flick.

Jocelin Donahue was awesome in this. I could have watched another hour and a half of just her, dancing around and cleaning the house and shit. She needs to be cast in more roles.

This is also the only Ti West film that I didn't think sucked. I'm not counting Cabin Fever 2 in that due to his disowning the film and all but Trigger Man and The Roost were horrible.
Old 04-06-10, 09:58 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Cahuenga Building, Sixth Floor
Posts: 583
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Horror Film Club (April 5th) - The House of the Devil

I LOVED this movie. Definitely one of my favorites of 2009. I understand the glacial pacing isn't for everybody but I thought that was what made it more effective and almost (dare I say) more realistic. Especially when
Spoiler:
the demon first appeared during the ritual
The actors and actresses were wonderful in the parts. Jocelin Donahue is very talented. Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov and AJ Bowen were effectively creepy.

I don't know what Ti West could possibly follow this up with but he's one to keep an eye on. The jump in quality from The Roost hopefully means more of this from him and he isn't just a flash in the pan.

I also thought the VHS tape (if you bought the set) is marketing awesomeness. I'll never open it, but it brings back good memories of picking up Sleepaway Camp or From Beyond off the shelf of a local mom and pop run video store.
Old 04-06-10, 10:58 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Cleburne, TX
Posts: 486
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: Horror Film Club (April 5th) - The House of the Devil

I watched this when it aired on HDNet Movies last October and really didn't like it at first. Here's the mini-review I posted for the annual horror challenge:

- a college student who has just finalized a deal for her own place needs money, so she takes a babysitting job. However, it turns out that the gentleman who hired her lied. She won't be babysitting children, but instead the man's mother... or so he says. She thinks of leaving, but is offered $400 dollars and stays. She'll wish she'd just trusted her instincts. The poster for this thing is a beauty. Truly a throwback to the older posters made for genre films in the 70's and 80's, it alone was enough to interest me in this movie. Alas, it doesn't live up to it's poster, but wasn't that often the case? Things start out well enough, but this is yet another film from the director of The Roost that takes a pretty threadbare plot and does little with it. After the initial setup, the film drags on and on as the lead feels uncomfortable with her surroundings. I'm a fan of slow build as much as the next guy, but there's a difference between that and being plain dull. Once we do get to the action, it's over almost as quickly as it began and it's nothing particularly out of the ordinary. I also feel that the girl would have split pretty quickly, even if the house was in the middle of nowhere. On the upside, Jocelin Donahue is a solid, appealing lead. I'd love to see her in more things. The atmosphere is also pretty thick at times and the thing does feel like an older style horror film. I wanted to like this one more, but Ti West needs to do a better job with pacing in the future.
That said, I actually watched this a second time a few weeks afterward since I had recorded the HDNet showing. I liked it more on the second go around, so I guess it helps to go in expecting a very slow-moving picture. This time around, I was able to just let myself get wrapped up in the 80's style atmosphere and art direction. Make no mistake about it, West deserves praise for the art direction on display here. As I said before, it really, truly feels like an older style horror film. He nailed that better than any other modern day attempt, The Devil's Rejects included. I still think the pacing is off and that the ending could be better, but the vintage mood is the real star of the show next to Ms. Donahue. On that level, I'd call the film a success. Also, any film in which Greta Gerwig gets her face blown off can't be all bad! I bought the Blu-ray when it was released and have enjoyed the film more still with each consecutive viewing.
Old 04-07-10, 08:29 PM
  #5  
Challenge Guru & Comic Nerd
 
Trevor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: spiritually, Minnesota
Posts: 36,891
Received 683 Likes on 458 Posts
Re: Horror Film Club (April 5th) - The House of the Devil

Loved it, lived up the hype, more later.
Old 04-07-10, 08:31 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Millville, New Jersey
Posts: 3,038
Likes: 0
Received 24 Likes on 16 Posts
Re: Horror Film Club (April 5th) - The House of the Devil

Originally Posted by J. Farley
That said, I actually watched this a second time a few weeks afterward since I had recorded the HDNet showing. I liked it more on the second go around,
Yeah, that happens a lot with me. I'll judge a movie after just one viewing then a month or so i'll watch it again and it's like. This isn't as bad as I thought.
Sometimes it takes a few viewings for a movie to take hold.
Old 04-07-10, 09:57 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Darth Maher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Haddonfield, Illinois
Posts: 2,477
Received 87 Likes on 55 Posts
Re: Horror Film Club (April 5th) - The House of the Devil

I watched about 30 or so minutes this afternoon on a break from working.
Spoiler:
Right up to the part where her girlfriend gets shot in the head and the guy just sits in the car smoking.


I'm liking the movie so far (very creepy atmosphere) and I don't mind the slower pacing at all... probably because, based on reviews, I was expecting it.

More later when I finish it (hopefully tonight).
Old 04-08-10, 10:46 AM
  #8  
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 173
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Horror Film Club (April 5th) - The House of the Devil

I was finally able to see this recently after blind buying it and absolutely loved it! Knowing that it was methodically paced going in which probably helped my enjoyment, but overall, I thought the time spent to establish atmosphere and spent with the main character really made the way the film played out have a much greater impact than it would have otherwise.
Noonan and Woronov, while not having a ton of screen time, were very effective in their roles.
Also, I think Jocelin Donahue really carried this movie and without her performance, the film wouldn't have been nearly as effective.
The score was very well done.
Lastly, I thought he production design and aesthetics were extremely well done. The film stock used really captured the time period and the Blu-ray looks awesome, capturing the grain of the film really well.
Overall, I love this movie and hope to revisit it soon. I figured the horror film club would probably be the group to ask: I know this film is designed to look like a late 70's/early 80's horror film. Are there any other films that would be similar or that would make for a good double feature with this one? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
Old 04-11-10, 12:45 AM
  #9  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Darth Maher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Haddonfield, Illinois
Posts: 2,477
Received 87 Likes on 55 Posts
Re: Horror Film Club (April 5th) - The House of the Devil

Just finished it! Great movie. The pacing was perfect in my opinion. It had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. What I also liked was that she didn't act like an idiot and do (too many) stupid things.
Spoiler:
I almost cheered when she grabbed the gun after killing the bearded guy.
By the way, I though these threads were spoiler tag free zones.

Somebody mentioned that she should have gotten out of there... but where was she going to go? At least she grabbed the knife when she went to investigate.

I'm kind of bummed that only the VHS packaging only comes with the DVD. When I purchase this, I plan to buy the Blu-ray (this viewing was a rental DVD).
Old 04-11-10, 08:42 AM
  #10  
Challenge Guru & Comic Nerd
 
Trevor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: spiritually, Minnesota
Posts: 36,891
Received 683 Likes on 458 Posts
Re: Horror Film Club (April 5th) - The House of the Devil

Originally Posted by Darth Maher
JBy the way, I though these threads were spoiler tag free zones.

I'm kind of bummed that only the VHS packaging only comes with the DVD. When I purchase this, I plan to buy the Blu-ray (this viewing was a rental DVD).
Yeah, I'd say that spoilers are completely unnecessary. If you're in this thread you've seen the film, or should have. Perhaps a comment to that effect could be put in each selection thread's post #1?

And same for me with the rental and wishing the BD had the cool VHS package.
Old 04-12-10, 07:01 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,228
Received 124 Likes on 67 Posts
Re: Horror Film Club (April 5th) - The House of the Devil

I saw this about a month ago, and thought it was excellent. The slow pace does get to you, but you can look past it at the movie as a whole. It is similar IMO in context to Babysitter wanted, but not as good or not as good a twist ending. The first kill, and I don't want to spoil it, is one fo the best kills in a long time in horror. It is totally unexpected and good and gory. All in all, I do think the pace hurts it, but does't kill it. Just deal with it, and you'll see a prety good movie. 6/10
Old 04-15-10, 07:06 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
SethDLH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Maryland
Posts: 5,729
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 3 Posts
Re: Horror Film Club (April 5th) - The House of the Devil

I thought I had already contributed to this thread.... oh well, I am now

I was extremely indifferent to this movie. While I loved the slow burn aspect and how Ti West really captured everything about the 80s, the movie itself didn't do anything for me. I thought the occult stuff was far too rushed, and all suspense that was built was quickly squashed with how predictable the ending was.

I'll certainly give it another watch and it was by no means bad, it just didn't sway me in either direction.
Old 04-16-10, 08:58 AM
  #13  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Darth Maher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Haddonfield, Illinois
Posts: 2,477
Received 87 Likes on 55 Posts
Re: Horror Film Club (April 5th) - The House of the Devil

SPOILER & STUPID VIEWER ALERT:

I was just thinking about this movie the other day. And now I have a question...

When the bearded guy finds the best friend in the cemetery, he asks something like "You mean you're not the babysitter?" and then shoots her. Why would he think that the babysitter would be leaving? At first I thought that maybe he was trying to prevent the ritual from happening so he'd sacrifice the babysitter for the good of the world (or something like that).
Old 04-16-10, 08:59 AM
  #14  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,003
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Horror Film Club (April 5th) - The House of the Devil

What a disappointment! Looked like an episode of The Twilight Zone. However, itīs was soooooooo slow, which didnīt create any tension whatsoever. I almost fell asleep.
Old 04-16-10, 09:10 AM
  #15  
Challenge Guru & Comic Nerd
 
Trevor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: spiritually, Minnesota
Posts: 36,891
Received 683 Likes on 458 Posts
Re: Horror Film Club (April 5th) - The House of the Devil

Originally Posted by Darth Maher
SPOILER & STUPID VIEWER ALERT:

I was just thinking about this movie the other day. And now I have a question...

When the bearded guy finds the best friend in the cemetery, he asks something like "You mean you're not the babysitter?" and then shoots her. Why would he think that the babysitter would be leaving? At first I thought that maybe he was trying to prevent the ritual from happening so he'd sacrifice the babysitter for the good of the world (or something like that).
My take:

No, he was part of the plan all along, I think he was just making sure that it wasn't the babysitter trying to leave.

Obviously, all other possible witnesses would need to be eliminated.
Originally Posted by Dane
However, itīs was soooooooo slow, which didnīt create any tension whatsoever. I almost fell asleep.
Really? I found the tension to be palpable, and stronger than most horror films. That's the main reason I loved the film.

Last edited by Trevor; 04-22-10 at 03:22 PM. Reason: typo
Old 04-16-10, 09:25 AM
  #16  
DVD Talk Reviewer
 
Pointyskull's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Formerly known as "12thmonkey"/Frankfort, IL
Posts: 7,790
Received 35 Likes on 31 Posts
Re: Horror Film Club (April 5th) - The House of the Devil

Originally Posted by Trevor
Really? I found the tension to be palpable, and stronger than most horror films. That's the main reson I loved the film.
Same here.

Loved the vintage feel to this one, and knowing that something bad was coming made the buildup even better, imo. And I have not been a fan of West's early work at all, so this was even more of a pleasant surprise.

Donahue and Gerwig were terrific, and that headshot in the cemetery really made me jump.

Good stuff....

Last edited by Pointyskull; 04-16-10 at 09:29 AM.
Old 04-16-10, 09:36 AM
  #17  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Darth Maher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Haddonfield, Illinois
Posts: 2,477
Received 87 Likes on 55 Posts
Re: Horror Film Club (April 5th) - The House of the Devil

Originally Posted by Trevor
My take:

No, he was part of the plan all along, I think he was just making sure that it wasn't the babysitter trying to leave.

Obviously, all other possible witnesses would need to be eliminated.
Yeah, that makes sense. I forgot that this was the '80s and hardly anybody had cell phones. So he would have no contact with his parents back at the house. Anybody leaving would most likely be the babysitter.
Old 04-16-10, 11:21 AM
  #18  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
clckworang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The toe nail of Texas
Posts: 9,556
Received 756 Likes on 492 Posts
Re: Horror Film Club (April 5th) - The House of the Devil

I could have sworn I had commented in this thread already ...

Anyway, I watched this one during the horror challenge and like it. It's definitely a slow burn, but I have to give the director a lot of credit. There are so many times that we see someone try so hard to make a film to match a specific time and genre, but West really pulled it off here. This really felt like an '80s film, down to so many of the little details. I can see where this movie wouldn't be for everybody, but I thought it succeeded in what it was trying to do.
Old 04-21-10, 02:54 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Spiderbite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 16,332
Received 1,147 Likes on 701 Posts
Re: Horror Film Club (April 5th) - The House of the Devil

I watched this last night and was pretty bored the entire time. The tension is there but nothing ever really happens. It's like a perfect "jump-scare" movie with no jumps or scares whatsoever. Nothing was remotely scary or even eerie about the film. I tend to get goosebumps a lot when watching even mildly creepy movies but not one pimple of gooseflesh did this movie deliver.

It did a decent job of looking early 80's-ish but the fake film grain has got to go. Some scenes were almost unwatchable due to the over abundance of grain. I understand what he was trying to achieve but I felt it was way overdone.

Good performance by the main girl though. Otherwise, this was a chore to watch.

My rating: **1/2 out of *****
Old 04-21-10, 05:51 PM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 503
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: Horror Film Club (April 5th) - The House of the Devil

I loved this movie. I thought it was a breath of fresh air that the horror genre definitely needed. There had been so many awful remakes and sequels. The story was slow to develop but I thought it was worth the wait. I'm a huge fan of old 80's horror so I'm a little bias.
Old 04-22-10, 02:41 PM
  #21  
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: The Rift
Posts: 179
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Horror Film Club (April 5th) - The House of the Devil

I liked this quite a bit.
One small oversight on the part of the filmmakers...
Watch the part where she's playing pool, someone that good would know how to properly rack the balls. Notice where she puts the 8 ball!


I thought the occult part of the film could have been a little creepier, or dark, or menacing. But all in all, I liked it.
Old 04-22-10, 10:47 PM
  #22  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Darth Maher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Haddonfield, Illinois
Posts: 2,477
Received 87 Likes on 55 Posts
Re: Horror Film Club (April 5th) - The House of the Devil

Originally Posted by Chill Pill
I thought the occult part of the film could have been a little creepier, or dark, or menacing. But all in all, I liked it.
Yeah, they were a little lame. And by lame, I mean she outsmarted them and got away a little too easily.
Old 06-02-10, 04:55 AM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 665
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Horror Film Club (April 5th) - The House of the Devil

Originally Posted by miller_time22
Are there any other films that would be similar or that would make for a good double feature with this one? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
I'd suggest "The Sentinel" and "Burnt Offerings." Both of those seem to get bashed a lot for slow pacing, but I appreciate the buildup of creepy atmosphere, and if you enjoyed this movie, you probably don't mind a movie that takes time to actually develop characters before dispatching them.

Loved this movie. That gunshot death nearly made me have a heart attack, which I appreciate, because I've seen a lot of horror movies, so it's difficult for them to surprise me anymore.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.